As fast as you can say “Thanksgiving” it’s over. The very next day all things orange and red and brown wearily fade into the forgotten background of the world as the ever popular Christmas pushes itself into the lime-light making its sparkling, dazzling long awaited debut. Soft, glowing lights of every color seem to magically string from house to house reminding us of the upcoming event. Windows joyfully frame some variety of a beautifully decorated fir tree that soon becomes the center of unforgettable precious family memories. We can barely help but lose ourselves in lists and shopping and baking and celebrating… every single day up until the most eagerly anticipated day of the year arrives: Christmas.
I fondly recall the complete and utter excitement of Christmas Eve as a child. The quiet restfulness of my bed overtaken by insomnia induced hopes for Christmas morning. Santa Claus. Overflowing stockings. Piles of gifts. All mysterious and unknown, but filled with the promise of smiles and squeals and sweet splendor. And now as an adult I can hardly fight the urge to introduce my children each year to all of this marvelous wonder and delight.
But, in the midst of it all I remember what Christmas is really about for those of us who believe.
And the picture of what I hope for at this time of year instantly transforms into something very different. Something that is hardly radiant to the eyes of the world, but strikingly magnificent to those whose eyes stay fixed upon Jesus. Indeed the traditions of Christmas surround us, smothering us at every turn, yet we do not ever forget that He is our true reason for this season.
His birth and the hope that it brought us.
His life and the living example He is for us.
His death and the covering for our sin.
His promises and our eternity with Him in heaven.
It causes me to reflect on this consuming, hungry expectation of traditional Christmas that the world woos us into and the energy we pour into the handful of days leading up to it. And I nearly burn up with conviction as I realize that we should reserve this awesome eager anticipation for only one single day ever. His Word defines all of our hopes not just for Christmas, but for life…
We have overwhelming Truth that gives us a real reason to exhibit such eager anticipation and it by far out weighs any impulsive passion we have for a mere annual and worldly holiday. That’s worth our excitement. It’s THE gift of our lifetime.
So, my hopes for Christmas are that in the coming days I would not lose this most important godly perspective. And in however many days we have left on this earth that our passion would unleash wildly for Christ in a way that forcibly moves us to stand unyielding up onto our tippy-toes with arms anxiously outstretched to His heavens in joyful, never-seen-before eager anticipation as we await the coming of our Savior and our promised life with Him in eternity.